INTERVIEW: JAKE LEGER
Interview: Jake Leger
Epidemic & Berrics Videographer
Glen Coy: How old were you when you first started shopping at Epidemic? What was the attraction to the shop for you? You lived in the east side of the desert but I still feel like I saw you every weekend.
Jake Leger: I was 9 years old when I first started shopping at Epidemic. My parents would never want to drive me to Cathedral City since there were 3 other shops closer/along the way. but me and my friends were so hyped on the shop we would just take 1-2 hour missions on the bus. All the other shops I’ve been to in the valley never felt the same as Epidemic based on the customer service, product, and mainly the team that represented it. I’ve always had so much respect and looked up to all the OG riders growing up (Bread, Milo, Mark, Tanner, Jake, Georgie, Alan, TC). It’s still so crazy to me knowing I’ve been able to establish such great relationships with I guess you could say my “childhood heroes”.
GC: When did you first start filming skateboarding? What influenced you?
JL: I got my first video camera for my 13th birthday and from then on me and my friends would always make little montages for fun. But during that time I never took it seriously at all until my father who was in prison for the first 14 years of my life started sending me books about filmmaking. He has always been very passionate about it. So the more books he would send me the more I fell in love with it. Thanks pops!
GC: Do you remember how you started filming for the shop?
JL: I was always watching the content that Rey Romero would help produce for the shop over the years and I was always such a huge fan of his work. I eventually got ahold of him one day and started talking to him about cameras. I guess he noticed I knew a bit about them and webcam’d me asking me some questions about a problem he was having with his camera. After I helped him he was really thankful and asked me if I wanted to go skating with him and the team sometime. After begging my mom to give me a ride to a spot they were at one day we finally got to skate around and get to know each other a bit. After that day we webcam’d again that night and that’s when he asked me to help him with the full length Epidemic video.
GC: I remember telling you to make some promo videos during the Agenda Trade Show. Do you feel like that helped you land a job at The Berrics? How did that all go down?
JL: The first year I went to Agenda me and Johnny Helgren passed out about 100 DVDs of the Epidemic video and did not hear back from anyone. It was very discouraging but i guess I used it as a motivation to keep working harder. Within that next year I ended up moving to Orange County to figure out a way to make it in the filming industry some how. That lasted for a very short amount of time so I ended up moving back to the desert and continuing to make content for the shop again. That year went by so quick and I remember you telling me one day that the Agenda Trade Show was about a week away and that I should make DVDs to pass out again. I remember arguing with you about me not having enough time to turn that around and all you told me was if I didn’t do it, you would be disappointed. The day before Agenda I was up all night printing DVDs hoping I would have enough to hand out. I only had about 20 DVDs to hand out and the day after Agenda ended, I had a email from Steve Berra saying that he would be passing my info on to the rest of the staff. The day after that I got a call from Joel Peterson, the manager of The Berrics asking me if I would like to help them create some content.
GC: How’s it been working there? What are you responsible for?
JL: It’s definitely been the craziest year of my life. I’m usually in the park helping Chase Gabor (the main filmer) filming Bangin’s or United Nations. I’ve also been filming behind the scenes for the Recruits and Battle Commanders which turn into the recruit screenings/Command Briefings. When I’m not filming those I’m helping out with docu stuff so I get the best of both worlds. There’s always so much going on I never really have time to sit back and absorb it. I’m always just focusing on what I need to get done next. It doesn’t stop, I love it.
GC: What advice would you have for kids trying to make it in the industry, whether it be a pro skateboarder, photographer, filmer, artist, etc.?
JL: It stops when you stop!
Follow Jake on Instagram: @lakejeger